For some, “work from home” is a new novel joy. Imagine the 9-to-5er who now gets the luxury of not sitting in traffic or the pure bliss of getting to be around their pets for good quality time. Though the wider circumstances are serious and horrific, the opportunity to have some autonomy via working from home may feel like a form of pleasure to some people — and that’s okay!
But for people who have worked for a long while in the cam and/or clips space, this whole working from home thing might actually feel like… business as usual?
Let me be the first person to tell you though: Just because you had been working from home part-time or full-time pre-Coronavirus, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily business as usual for you — and you don’t have to pretend that it is. In fact, you have to do anything right now. If you’ve noticed yourself losing motivation to continue to “do” when you’re otherwise healthy and free, you aren’t alone.
Stress and Depression During COVID-19
Although we may be primarily paying attention to the CDC to stay up-to-date on new COVID-19 facts, the CDC also has some decent advice concerning stress and coping during this pandemic.
The CDC recommends doing the following things to help support yourself during this time:
— Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
— Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
— Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
— Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
But as we all know, stress and depression are varied among people, and although these tips are great, they may not help with some of the specific feelings creators get when trying to produce during a pandemic.
You Don’t Have to Remain Productive
A recent CNBC Make It article highlighted that many people are feeling productivity-related anxiety.
“While scrolling on social media amid the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have noticed the push for productivity, citing that while in quarantine due to the plague, Sir Isaac Newton discovered calculus and William Shakespeare wrote ‘King Lear,’” reported CNBC Make It.
“Although these ‘reminders’ may be intended to motivate, there’s a growing backlash against the need to be super productive with all the newfound ‘free’ time. In fact that pressure to be productive is causing anxiety for many.”
So, just because you may have friends who are thriving right now and making more clips or getting online more than ever, that doesn’t mean you have to, too.
“Some individuals are going to feel very overwhelmed by all of it, very anxious about what the future holds. Other people may compartmentalize it completely and turn it off and focus on tasks in front of them,” Lynn Bufka said to CNBC Make It. “But it will take each person time to figure out what works best for them and how they’re going to do that.”
“It really is important right now for people to realize that this is new for everyone. There’s no road map on how you manage a pandemic,” Bufka added.
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Therapist truth: Paying attention… to yourself, your patterns, and your environment, is half the work.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you feel like the changes you're hoping for seem too big and too difficult to achieve, start by making small adjustments to your patterns at first.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you can start with a small change, then believe it or not, the big changes happen much more easily. But first you have to re-wire your brain to believe that change isn't so tough.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Small changes bypass our brain's fear response because we think they are too small to be very intimidating. But once a small change has been achieved, it replace the narrative of "Change is hard" with "I have the power to change."⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For example, if you're trying to break the habit of smoking, try extinguishing the cigarette before it's completely burned through. The next time, leave a little more of it intact. The next time, only smoke half of it. Before you know it, you'll be smoking drastically less than you initially did.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Have you noticed anything lately that you want to change in your life?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #exploringtherapy #therapistsofinstagram #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthstigma #psychologistsofinstagram #weareheretohelp #mentalhealthmatters #digitalnomadlife #psychologist #mentalhealthprofessionals #clinicalpsychologist #psychologystudent #psychologygrad #therapist #selfcare #endthestigmaofmentalhealth #mentalhealthisimportant #mentalwellbeing #onlinetherapy #onlinetherapist #digitalnomad #workfromanywhere #digitalnomads #digitalnomadlifestyle #digitalnomadlife #remotework
Not Being Productive at Home
“Home” may have once been a place you had to yourself for periods of time because your partner went to work, you could take your kid to daycare or your roommate had classes at night.
Now, if you have a kid, family members or roommates who are “home” all day with you, you may not be able to do things you once did because you aren’t alone.
“We are home working alongside our kids, in unsuitable spaces, with no choice and no in-office days,” says Nicholas Bloom, a senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), said to Stanford News.
“Many people I have been interviewing are now working in their bedrooms or shared common rooms, with noise from their partners, family or roommates,” Bloom added.
If you’re experiencing a similar situation, just know you aren’t alone, and you can’t change what’s happening because of COVID-19.
What This Means for You
Just try to be kind to yourself.
Brittani Persha, a registered play therapist supervisor, recently explained to KHOU11 how they are using a therapy geared toward kids to help adults cope with COVID-19.
“What this is is an activity to help kids understand the coronavirus,” said Persha during a demonstration. “The rock is the coronavirus: it’s not changeable, but the play dough – this is what we can control. Then what we tell clients is, let go of the rocks, let go of the things you can’t control.”
Please take a break from working online if you need to and be good to yourself.
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For anyone here who is really struggling with the effects of social distancing…⠀ ⠀ Are you feeling like there’s no one you can share your frustrations and concerns with? This situation has led many of us to feel a sense of over-connection and needing space from the ones in our home or feeling isolated…⠀ ⠀ Though most of us therapists have moved to virtual sessions now, please know that we are still a resource to you during this time. Many clients are hesitant about doing therapy virtually, but there are also many clients who love the convenience of it and do teletherapy regularly.⠀ ⠀ A few tips if you’re looking to schedule an appointment with a therapist for teletherapy:⠀ ⠀ You have the option of videoconferencing or talking over the phone.⠀ ⠀ This might be a more cost and time-effective way to see a therapist (saving travel time and gas money).⠀ ⠀ Depending on what license the therapist has, most therapists can see anyone via teletherapy within their state…so you can broaden your search beyond just your city!⠀ ⠀ Know that some clients actually feel more comfortable and confident meeting virtually once they try it.⠀ ⠀ If you’re struggling to find privacy for your session (with family, roommates or kids around), you can go outside to talk with your therapist or maybe even sit in your car.⠀ ⠀ Many therapists are offering flexible hours and rates to be helpful to more people during this time.⠀ ⠀ Lastly, we’re here for you. If you want to hear more about what teletherapy is like, check out episode 43 of @holdingspacepodcast with @exploring.therapy!⠀ ⠀ If you’re a fellow therapist offering teletherapy, can you drop a comment below with what state you offer services to?⠀ ⠀ Take care!⠀ ⠀ #onlinetherapy #talktherapy #innerwork #digitalnomad #californiatherapist #telehealth #teletherapy #mentalhealthmatters #globalpandemic⠀
Abbie Stutzer is a queer, non-binary writer living in Kansas City, MO. You can find them doing witchy stuff at home with their numerous pets or at the local animal shelter saving lives. Contact Stutzer via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background header image via Unsplash here.